Review of I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon
by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul; illus. by Elizabeth Zunon
Primary    Millbrook    40 pp.    g
2/19    978-1-5124-4914-3    $19.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5415-4380-5    $19.99 

Even as a young child Tantoh Nforba loves the rich soils of his native northwestern Cameroon, earning the nickname “Farmer” from his mocking classmates; family members discourage him from following his passion in favor of aiming for an office job. Owning the nickname proudly — he even writes it on his school uniform — he rejects their judgment and grows up to become not just a farmer but an effective advocate for clean water and safe agricultural practices. He founds a successful nonprofit organization and contributes to the health and well-being of countless communities across Cameroon (“In the twenty years since he first put on the Farmer shirt, Tantoh has installed or consulted on the building of more than sixty wells or spring catchments and inspired the planting of more than eight hundred home, school, or community gardens”). This heartening story — accompanied in front and back matter by the authors’ photographs, maps, and additional commentary about their time with Nforba and his family — conveys the importance of sound agricultural practices across farms, schoolyards, communities, and nations. In Zunon’s colorful mixed-media illustrations, the vibrancy of people, water, and especially the contrasting soils of the wet and dry seasons showcase the movement that Farmer Tantoh has built. The back matter also includes a brief glossary/
pronunciation guide of words in Limbum (one of the languages of Cameroon).

From the January/February 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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